Dragos and Aramco sign MOU regarding the protection of industrial infrastructure in Saudi Arabia
Dragos Inc, the global leader in cybersecurity for operational technology (OT) environments, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, to review potential opportunities to help protect critical industrial assets and infrastructure for Aramco and its affiliates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The MOU will set the stage to explore strategies for rapidly deploying cybersecurity technologies and services critical for protecting OT environments and global supply chains. The MOU aims to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 pillar to build a thriving, increasingly diverse economy, in part enabled by secure digital transformation that supports private sector growth and investment.
Robert M. Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Dragos, and Basim A. Al Ruwaii, Information Security Director and Chief Information Security Officer, Aramco, signed the MOU on behalf of Dragos and Aramco, respectively, in the presence of Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Aramco, and Salem S. Al-Elwi, Manager of OT/ICS Cybersecurity. Also in attendance were Aramco Ventures CEO Mahdi Aladel and Executive Managing Director, Strategic Venturing Bruce Niven. Aramco Ventures is an investor in Dragos.
The MOU includes initiatives aimed at localizing Dragos services and solutions, and development initiatives for a Dragos local hardware assembly facility. Additionally, Dragos will explore strategies with Aramco to establish a training academy in the country, aimed at enhancing OT cybersecurity capabilities in technology applications.
“Our work with Dragos serves to accelerate our country’s Vision 2030 objectives to foster economic relations with global partners and advance our digital economy,” said Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, Executive VP of Technology and Innovation, Aramco. “The MOU advances the strong relationship we’ve built with Dragos over years and demonstrates Dragos’s deep commitment to cybersecurity that protects people in the region.”
“Aramco sets a strong example through its commitment to build cybersecurity capabilities and infrastructure that support success for the whole region,” said Robert M. Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Dragos. “This MOU will potentially result in more access for organizations to industrial cybersecurity technology and services so they can protect against, detect, and respond to threats, while also developing and training ICS/OT cybersecurity talent to ensure sustainable success.”
Research shows the cybersecurity market in the Middle East is burgeoning and expected to reach nearly $30 billion by 2025, with an average annual growth rate of 14%.
“Cybersecurity for industrial systems is key to delivering on Aramco’s commitment to serve a growing global population and sustain our planet through the legacy and alternative sources of energy, said Basim A. Al Ruwaii, Information Security Director and Chief Information Security Officer, Aramco. “Dragos has the OT cybersecurity technology and expertise to support our needs for today and the future.”
Dragos further expanded into the Middle East market last year, with the appointment of Omar Al Barghouthi as Regional Director for the Middle East, and additional hires in Saudi Arabia and across the region to support growing customer demand. Dragos established its Saudi Arabia office in Riyadh in alignment with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.
“Dragos has long supported the OT cybersecurity community in our region in adopting best practices and the right technologies to effectively defend industrial systems from cyberthreats,” said Salem S. Al-Elwi, Manager of OT/ICS Cybersecurity at Aramco. “Through this MOU, we are excited to work with Dragos on developing plans for a potential Dragos cybersecurity hardware assembly facility in the Kingdom which would increase Saudi local content and ensure supply chain effectiveness.”
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